Posted by Bret Hudson November 12, 2016
Less than a month after YoYo Games teased us with a sneak peak of the new logo, YoYo Games launched a public beta for the new iteration of the GameMaker: Studio line. There's more than just a dropped colon in the name that makes this a step up from the previous version.
YoYo Games has streamlined development within their IDE, starting with the GMS Image Editor, which previously was very limited for artists, causing many to use external tools such as Gimp and Photoshop. The editor now supports blend modes, layering, a revamped animation editor, and a brush system, all features the software desperately needed. Tilesets now have the ability to be animated, which previously required tedious object placing and a few lines of code for each.
The GameMaker software has a legacy of being easy to use for beginners. GMS2 keeps things simple, and smooths a learning curve many users of the software have had to climb. GameMaker has a "drag and drop" interface for creating objects for those who have had no prior coding/scripting exposure. The new interface allows users to opt in to see the code the drag and drop modules produce.
Objects have been given a "Chain View" workflow, a term YoYo Games uses to describe the new way windows are chained together when editing objects. Instead of having windows pop up on top of each other, they open horizontally in a line, each one "chained" to the previous one, showing where it's connected, minimizing confusion of which script or object you're currently editing.
Upgrading is always a big crutch for developers when they're deep in a project. However, GameMaker Studio 2 is backwards compatible, meaning all GameMaker: Studio projects can be imported and "ready to run in a matter of minutes." Right now, the beta is completely free, and will become the trial upon launch. Afterwards, the base software will be $99, with additional export modules for web, UWP, mobile, and consoles available for an additional cost.
For those who do want to upgrade from an existing license, a 40% upgrade discount is available, knocking the base program price to $59 for those who already own GameMaker: Studio Professional. The full pricing guide has a more detailed breakdown of all options.
To find out more about GameMaker Studio 2, head over to the official GMS2 page for a more detailed rundown, as well as videos showcasing the new features and improvements.